Account Action

Sears Canada has split the creative side of its $75-million business between Ammirati Puris Lintas and TBWA Chiat/Day. The client has not yet decided which agency will handle the Sears portion of the business and which will get Eaton's. The assignments...

Sears Canada has split the creative side of its $75-million business between Ammirati Puris Lintas and TBWA Chiat/Day. The client has not yet decided which agency will handle the Sears portion of the business and which will get Eaton’s. The assignments cover broadcast and magazine advertising. Flyers continue to be handled in-house. The Media Edge, the buying unit of incumbent Young & Rubicam, meanwhile, remains AOR.

Enbridge Home Services has appointed Grey Canada as its creative agency following a review that included Toronto agencies Garneau Wurstlin Philp Brand Engineering, Gee Jeffery & Partners, Harrod & Mirlin/FCB, and Turbulence. Media planning and buying stays with Genesis Media.

Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Sun Life Financial) has chosen Grey Canada of Toronto as its first worldwide AOR. The assignment includes work for Sun Life’s business in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, as well as campaigns for Asian operations in Manila, Mumbai (Bombay), Hong Kong and Beijing.

Winners Apparel has hired Bensimon*Byrne*D’Arcy of Toronto to handle the creative portion of the 100-store discount clothing chain’s $10-million account. Harrison, Young, Pesonen & Newell retains the media business.

Nestlé Canada has moved its chocolate confectionery business to J. Walter Thompson from MacLaren McCann, as part of a global alignment of brands such as Kit Kat, Smarties, Aero, Coffee Crisp and Flipz. MacLaren McCann continues to handle other portions of the business such as Nescafé, Coffee-mate and Nestlé Nutrition. Publicis-SMW has the Nestlé Ice Cream assignment, Optimedia Canada takes care of English media buying and Marketel/McCann Erickson is the company’s French AOR.

United Way of Greater Toronto has appointed Vickers & Benson Advertising as AOR for its pro bono business for a two-year term.

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group